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Science

Talk all things robotics and AI with TechCrunch writers

By | articles, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, deep learning, Emerging-Technologies, Events, Extra Crunch Conference Call, Extra Crunch members, Gadgets, Hardware, Robotics, Science, Startups, TC, tc sessions, TC Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019, Technology, uc-berkeley

This Thursday, we’ll be hosting our third annual Robotics + AI TechCrunch Sessions event at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The day is packed start-to-finish with intimate discussions on the state of robotics and deep learning with key founders, investors, researchers and technologists. The event will dig into recent developments in robotics and AI, which startups […]

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Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft is lost during historic lunar landing attempt

By | beresheet, Gadgets, Israel, lunar landing, Science, Space, SpaceX

Israel’s SpaceIL almost made history today as its Beresheet spacecraft came within an ace of landing on the surface of the Moon, but suffered a last minute failure during descent. Israel missed out on the chance to be the fourth country to make a controlled lunar landing, but getting 99 percent of the way there is still an extraordinary achievement for private spaceflight.

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MIT’s ‘cyber-agriculture’ optimizes basil flavors

By | Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence, Food, Gadgets, GreenTech, Hardware, hydroponics, machine learning, MIT, Science

The days when you could simply grow a basil plant from a seed by placing it on your windowsill and watering it regularly are gone — there’s no point now that machine learning-optimized hydroponic “cyber-agriculture” has produced a superior plant with more robust flavors. The future of pesto is here.

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Apple sells wireless charging AirPods, cancels charger days later

By | Drama, Gadgets, Hardware, Opinion, Science, TC

“Works with AirPower mat”. Apparently not. It looks to me like Apple doesn’t treat customers with the same “high standard” of care it apparently reserves for its hardware quality. Nine days after launching its $199 wireless charging AirPods headphones that touted compatibility with the forthcoming Apple AirPower inductive charger mat, Apple has just scrapped AirPower […]

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Mars helicopter bound for the Red Planet takes to the air for the first time

By | drones, Gadgets, Government, Hardware, jpl, mars 2020, NASA, Robotics, Science, Space, TC, UAVs

The Mars 2020 mission is on track for launch next year, and nesting inside the high-tech new rover heading that direction is a high-tech helicopter designed to fly in the planet’s nearly non-existent atmosphere. The actual aircraft that will fly on the Martian surface just took its first flight and its engineers are over the moon.

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Ocean drone startup merger spawns Sofar, the DJI of the sea

By | drones, eCommerce, Exit, Funding, Fundings & Exits, Gadgets, GreenTech, Hardware, M&A, openrov, Recent Funding, Science, Startups, TC, underwater drone

What lies beneath the murky depths? SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive wants to help you and the scientific community find out. He’s just led a $7 million Series A for Sofar Ocean Technologies, a new startup formed from a merger he orchestrated between underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift. Together, they’re teaming up […]

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This self-driving AI faced off against a champion racer (kind of)

By | Artificial Intelligence, Audi, Automotive, Gadgets, Hardware, Robotics, Science, self-driving cars, stanford, Stanford University, Transportation

Developments in the self-driving car world can sometimes be a bit dry: a million miles without an accident, a 10 percent increase in pedestrian detection range, and so on. But this research has both an interesting idea behind it and a surprisingly hands-on method of testing: pitting the vehicle against a real racing driver on a course.

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Gates-backed Lumotive upends lidar conventions using metamaterials

By | Accelerator, Automotive, autonomous vehicles, Bill Gates, Gadgets, Hardware, Intellectual Ventures, lasers, Lidar, Lumotive, Robotics, Science, self-driving cars, TC, Transportation

Pretty much every self-driving car on the road, not to mention many a robot and drone, uses lidar to sense its surroundings. But useful as lidar is, it also involves physical compromises that limit its capabilities. Lumotive is a new company with funding from Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures that uses metamaterials to exceed those limits, perhaps setting a new standard for the industry.

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